– Overlooks Its Need for 5G to Stop Losing to Cablecos & Compete Nationwide against Verizon Coming 5G Network
By Charles Hall
Back when AT&T wanted to acquire DirecTV, the US’ largest pay TV service, it promised to upgrade much of its very slow copperwire network to much faster speeds. The FCC took AT&T up on that and made it a condition for allowing it to acquire DirecTV. Many wondered why it took the government to force AT&T to do what it should have done as good business practice: upgrade its copperwire network so it could more effectively compete against cablecos and sell more consumers highly profitable broadband subscriptions. Verizon didn’t do that. Now AT&T is saying that if it gets the go ahead to acquire content powerhouse Time Warner, it will have more incentive to build its 5G network. Is it offering to make that a condition for getting approval for buying Time Warner? And why doesn’t Verizon need a government mandate to build its 5G network, which Verizon has already publicly committed to doing? Building a 5G network with all due haste would seem to be a good business decision for both AT&T and Verizon have the US’ largest mobile network and want to use to use 5G as a last-mile fixed wireless broadband network. Why not just go ahead and do it? Or is that what AT&T is going to do even if it does not get approval to buy Time Warner?
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said this week that if AT&T acquires Time Warner, it will accelerate its deployment of 5G rather than the acquisition being a drag on its 5G deployment. Stephenson, “We would probably have a desire to move faster on 5G, certainly not slower.” He said that getting the 5G standard completed and 5G vendors up-to-speed are crucial.
AT&T has already said it expects to start a 5G trial at the end of this year and use it for fixed-wireless broadband to residences until 2020, when 5G will become available as ready for use as a mobile network…
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